#BookReview The Girl and the Sunbird by Rebecca Stonehill @bexstonehill Title: The Girl and the Sunbird

Author: Rebecca Stonehill

Published by: Bookouture on Jun. 17, 2016

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 502

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: Bookouture, NetGalley

Book Rating: 10/10

A haunting, heartbreaking and unforgettable novel of a woman married to a man she can never love, and drawn to another who will capture her heart forever… 

When eighteen year old Iris Johnson is forced to choose between marrying the frightful Lord Sidcup or a faceless stranger, Jeremy Lawrence, in a far-off land, she bravely decides on the latter. 

Accompanied by her chaperone, Miss Logan, Iris soon discovers a kindred spirit who shares her thirst for knowledge. As they journey from Cambridgeshire to East Africa, Iris’s eyes are opened to a world she never knew existed beyond the comforts of her family home. 

But when Iris meets Jeremy, she realizes in a heartbeat that they will never be compatible. He is cold and cruel, spending long periods of time on hunting expeditions and leaving Iris alone. 

Determined to make the best of her new life, Iris begins to adjust to her surroundings; the windswept plains of Nairobi, and the delightful sunbirds that visit her window every day. And when she meets Kamau, a local school teacher, Iris finds her calling, assisting him to teach the local children English. 

Kamau is everything Jeremy is not. He is passionate, kind and he occupies Iris’s every thought. She must make a choice, but if she follows her heart, the price she must pay will be devastating. 


This is a poignant, heart-wrenching, impactful story that I won’t soon forget.

It is the story of Iris, a young, naive woman who is sent to British East Africa to marry an arrogant, brutish widower, only to find true love in the arms of a native.

The story is predominantly set in Kenya during the early 1900s, and then again during the Mau Mau uprising in the 1950s, and is told by differing perspectives that sweep you along through the highs and lows of Iris’s life effortlessly.

This is, ultimately, a story about loneliness, loss, injustice, determination, strength, solace, happiness, and love.

The prose is poetic, precise, and exquisitely descriptive. And the characters are multi-layered, engaging, and empathetic. 

This is a truly powerful story. It will make you smile. It will make you cry. And it will resonate with you long after the last page is finished.

This book is due to be published on June 17, 2016.

Pick up a copy of this story from your favourite retailer or from the following Amazon links.

Amazon UKAmazon USAmazon Canada



Thank you to NetGalley, especially Bookouture, for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.


About Rebecca Stonehill

Rebecca Stonehill is from London but currently lives in Nairobi with her husband and three young children where she set up Magic Pencil, an initiative to give children greater access to creative writing and poetry. She has had numerous short stories published over the years, for example in Vintage Script, What the Dickens magazine, Ariadne’s Thread and Prole Books but The Poet’s Wife (Bookouture) is her first full-length novel, set in Granada during the Spanish Civil war and Franco’s dictatorship. Her second novel, The Girl and the Sunbird, was published by Bookouture in June 2016.

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